After a strong showing at the MSL meet, Barrington’s boys tennis coach John Roncone knew the level of competition for both the singles and doubles matches at the Schaumburg Sectional were going to be tough draws, but he was confident in his players.
“I think we will have a couple kids move on to state,” Roncone said prior to the May 20-21 Schaumburg sectional.
Roncone not only looks like he can see into the future but appears he will be seeing double at the IHSA State tournament held in Arlington Heights May 26 through the 28. Two Barrington’s doubles teams finish in first and second, helping Barrington (26 points) secure a sectional win over Glenbrook South (25) and Glenbrook North (19).
Finishing first at the Schaumburg Sectional for Barrington was the doubles team of junior Greg Coll and senior Ben Knuckles who took the distinction by winning their last match, which happened to be over fellow Broncos sophomore Ben Adams and junior Greg Baker.
Coll and Knuckles, who didn’t drop a set in the two day tournament, simply built on their surging momentum from the MSL meet. Firing on all cylinders, especially after storming through the MSL with an undefeated record (8-0) and taking the MSL meet, the tandem now sit at 19-8 and look for a strong run at the state tournament.
“Ben and George looked very tough this weekend,” Roncone said. “When they play with that kind of intensity, they can compete with the best teams.”
“It starts with their serves and then moving to the net to close points,” Roncone went on to say. “If they keep moving, they can finish points and create lots of problems."
The teammates caused problems throughout the tournament, even when they played their championship match beating Adams and Baker (6-2, 6-0) to take the title.
Adams and Baker set up their championship match by defeating Glenbrook North (who had previously defeated Barrington at Pitchford earlier in the season) and then later by defeating Glenbrook South in the semis (4-6, 6-3, 6-4).
“Greg and Ben took big steps toward becoming really nice players this weekend,” Roncone said of the other Bronco doubles team that qualified for state. “Their semifinal win over (Glenbrook) South showed what they can do against better competition.”
“If they make the shots that they are supposed to make, they can hang with a lot of teams," Roncone went on to say.
Roncone was hoping that some of his strong singles players would have made the qualification for state.
“I wish we could have our singles through, but the draw was tough,” Roncone said of the singles bracket.
“It was a great win for the boys; they played really well and finished very strong,” Roncone said of the sectional championship. ” We're looking forward to the state tournament.”
The three day state tournament begins on Thursday, May 26 with Hersey (Arlington Heights) hosting the finals. Some of the matches will be played at other area schools, including Barrington.